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Friday, February 20, 2015
By: Vivien Gnananantham


Out gallops the noble horse and in prances the humble goat to reign over 2015

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering where the expression “get your goat” originated from, well it looks like you’ll have to keep wondering because there isn’t a clear consensus as it seems to be a case of the age-old ‘po-tay-to, po-tah-to’ debate.

The Yanks claim that it’s an early 20th century American phrase related to horseracing where the common practice was to place goats with the highly-strung purebreds to keep them calm and all the more race-ready. Come race day though, shameless opponents would then steal the goat, ie ‘get someone’s goat’, in the expectations that the horse would be distraught by the absence of its dear bearded friend, then place a bet on it to lose.

The Brits on the other hand refer to ye olde English belief that keeping a goat in the barn would have a calming effect on cows for more milk production. When enemies vamoose with the goat, this would then render their cows less- to non-productive.

Whether English or American, the common thread seems to revolve around the idea that goats were great soothers and if stolen, would upset their animal friends enough for some unfavourable reactions.

So to be diplomatic, let’s take the goat as a metaphor for ‘a state of peacefulness’ – got your goat and you’re calm, but stolen and you’re annoyed perhaps to the point of getting pissed off!

That said, we’d all probably be better off holding on to our goats this year as according to one of Asia’s renowned feng shui, bazi and face-reading consultant Dato’ Joey Yap, 2015 being the Year of the Wood Goat is likely to be “an influential and fruitful one for individuals wishing to discover more about what the year holds for them”.

Starting its reign this February 19 when the Lunar New Year is ushered in and ending on February 7, 2016, the goat (or its cousin the sheep and ram) ranks eighth in the Sh e ngxiào – literally “birth likeness”, better known as the ‘Chinese zodiac’ in English. Incidentally, the Chinese consider the number ‘8’ auspicious as it symbolises prosperity.

Among the earliest animals domesticated by humans with DNA evidence suggesting 10,000 years BP as their domestication date, there are over 300 documented distinct breeds of goat today. Historically, Neolithic farmers across the world herded these animals as an easy source of milk and meat, with their dung used as fuel, their bones, hair, and sinew for clothing, building materials and tools, while their hide was fashioned into water and wine containers as well as parchment.

Intensely inquisitive and highly intelligent, goats will explore anything new or unfamiliar and contrary to common perception, will not actually eat inedible material, but instead chew on and taste just about anything vaguely reminiscent of plant matter to decide whether or not good to eat. They are also very well-coordinated that they are able to keep their balance even in the most precarious of places, also making them the only ruminant able to climb trees.

Why, even the Royal & Ancient game pays homage to these adorable creatures albeit in a somewhat derogatory term, ie “goat track”, which refers to a golf course that’s in poor condition.



1907, 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027

Intellectual and creative energy will be fired up, igniting a new sense of confidence and independence to take on new challenges – especially if your career is based in the creative/arts field. If you’re not the creative type, you will still benefit from an increased learning capacity which will support any training or educational tasks. If you're planning to take up a course, now is the time. While newfound energy and passion to excel gives a new boost of life and conviction, stress will take its toll if you push too hard as we’re only human. Consider making some healthy lifestyle changes by working out regularly, eating right, resting more and finding time to relax and enjoy life.


1908, 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028

The Monkey will be swinging from one good opportunity to another. There are positive indications for career progression and personal happiness. Not only will there be opportunities for a job promotion, but you’re also likely to become involved in new business projects that will be financially rewarding in the long run. Central to all this will be the natural ability to hold court with newfound friends and potential love interests. Despite the exuberance for life and newfound luck, the dark tendency to lose yourself in the moment can cause bouts of depression and insecurity in life, which you’ll overcome if you keep a level head, and be conscious of yourself and plans.


1909, 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029

Time to consider reversing the trend that life has always taken; instead of constantly chasing wealth and success, spend more time with the people that matter most – family and friends. Money cannot buy happiness or the love and respect of family and friends. There will be some undesirable obstacles but there will also be a rainbow at the end of every rainstorm. Take a step back from the craziness of life and look within yourself – realise that for all the skills and money one can have, what matters most is a good heart and soul. With some self-discipline and determination, anything is possible this year. Just remember where the heart truly lies and know that home is always there when needed.


1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030

The Dog will be blessed with the innate ability to seek wealth and prosperity. In addition to the ability to make money, there are indications that the women in your life or in senior positions will be more than happy to lend a hand in setting plans into motion or putting them back on track. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for new opportunities but always remember to be diplomatic, poised and gracious when pursuing them. Numerous challenges loom, so the best game plan would be to rise above it while keeping yourself grounded. Being calm and rational will help you weather your worst challenges, also focus on career and family obligations.


1911, 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031

There’s positive indication of career advancement. If employed by an organisation, it’s likely that efforts will finally be recognised by the top senior management with opportunities for a promotion and salary increment. If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s likely that exploring new markets could spell a profit increase. Think outside of the box and reel in the progress desired. It’s also the right time to evaluate friendships – some so-called “friends” are becoming envious with your success. Always be strong when dealing with petty gossip, jealousy and drama. 2015 has a lot to offer provided a level head is kept and if you’re ready to face any challenges.


1900, 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020

Time to reach out to others and seek the support rightfully deserved, allowing the help obtained and the opportunity to expand influence or take on more responsibilities. When efforts are noticed by the right people, it will be rewarded in monthly paycheques. Although it’s fun to constantly chase after wealth and success, make an effort to also spend some quality time with your spouse/partner; doing so will keep the flame alive or re-ignite those that have fizzled out. That is why this is likely to be a year of growth and renewal – for yourself and relationships. Continue to develop a sense of selfworth at work and develop connections with the people that truly matter.


1901, 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021

While it’s grand to have high ambitions, sometimes you need to look at what is right in front of you and set goals that can be achieved in the short term, and you’ll attain success easily this way. It’s especially true this year as there are signs that the head is constantly up in the clouds, chasing lofty goals while forgetting about more tangible ones closer to the ground. Be aware of your affairs and always have a back-up plan. you’ll also need to work a little harder than your peers to achieve your goals. Whether you’re currently well-off or otherwise, money will easily drift away, so watch your finances, and develop a budget and savings plan.


1902, 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022

The Tiger is poised to experience an outstanding year. Not only can you look forward to career success and personal happiness, but any problems faced will be solved in the blink of an eye. you’ll have plenty to celebrate about whether it’s a graduation, making a lifelong commitment to a partner, welcoming a new addition to the family or a promotion. With so much cause for celebration, do remember to thank the people who’ve helped you achieve those goals. Improve on interpersonal skills, and learn to mind words and actions. Together with the support of friends and advisors, you’ll have every reason to be positive this year, so make the most of it.


1903, 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023

Make the most out of the support and friendship offered; noble people that surround you throughout the year will contribute to the level of your success, so it’s prudent to express gratitude. Maintain an allegiance with the people around you as the relationships developed may prove beneficial for career development, financial success and personal happiness. The rabbit is likely to have a great year financially as there are indications of substantial financial gains in the form of bonuses, increments or profit returns from investments; but also be extra careful as you may experience minor accidents. It’s a year of friendships, laughter and success as long as you’re vigilant and think positively, and have kindness in your heart.


1904, 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024

The Dragon is poised to have an exciting year if you seize the opportunities granted. When you feel overwhelmed by these choices, a noble person will lighten your load. Positive influences mean that great things will take place in terms of career – either taken to new heights or kick-started again. While you can expect immense career progress, you’ll need to commit fully in order to achieve the desired results. Though you’ll be surrounded by opportunities, not all guarantee success, so seek sound advice and the right information before making a decision. Take the bull by its horns and prove dedication to the challenges offered – you’ll always have the support and luck to fly high this year.


1905, 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025

The year is rich with opportunities to grow as a person and to improve your skills, social position and career prospects. The Snake will also have the support from a variety of sources to guide and boost your growth. This will in turn have a profound impact on good fortune and personal development, improving your ability to perform in new arenas and absorb new information, particularly beneficial for those working in the education and research industries, or engaged in long-term study. you will be given the chance to showcase your skills and make progress towards wider goals. Together with the love and support of good friends, you’ll have everything needed for a promising and fulfilling year.


1906, 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026

Focus on loving and learning to take care of yourself. It’s vital to create work-life balance that includes proper rest, eating healthily and taking the time to treat yourself right. You shouldn’t neglect work responsibilities totally as there are some exciting opportunities in store. As a sense of balance between ‘work’ and ‘life’ continues to be developed, you’ll always have someone to rely on in sickness and in health. The Horse is likely to enjoy some positive career gains and earn some considerable wealth in the process. Remember the love, respect and appreciation that surround you and it won’t be hard to stay upbeat and healthy for the rest of the year.

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